Jon Sanders

In early January the Great Freeze of 2010 descended upon the land. At its worst, Floridians were moving to the warmer climes of Greenland, Midwesterners were spelling out SOS with in the snow, and migratory birds were getting the flock back north. And now, another mighty winter storm crawls across the land.

Americans, understanding that nothing in the climate happens without our causation, are looking Washington, D.C. for how our political leaders will change the weather. The peril to the climate has gotten so drastic that even Osama bin Laden is pleading for the Great Satan to do something.

While we wait for Uncle Sam to take action — because after all, there's no question the global mean temperature is the province of the political class — that doesn't mean we can't do our part. Everyone knows that warming the planet requires people consuming energy, driving gas guzzlers and emitting greenhouse gases. There still are small, costly steps that we can take against this cold snap that can really make a difference:

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1. Deflate your tires. Cars with flatter tires get poorer gas mileage. Run flat for Mother Earth.

2. Buy incandescent light bulbs. They consume more energy than compact fluorescent bulbs. Plus, they give off better light, and should you break one, you won't have to call a Hazmat team to deal with a mercury spill. Screw in, turn on, warm up.

3. Ask for plastic, not paper. Make multiple unnecessary trips to the grocery store to buy just one or two items at a time. Be sure to have all your groceries double-bagged. Plastic causes warming somehow, so think of the children.

4. Use lots of hot water. Take long showers, leave the water running while you're on the toilet, use your dishwasher after every meal, don't wash your hands till the water's fully warmed up, etc. Be creative.

5. Leave all the lights on and make sure all doors and windows are improperly insulated. Not only are these common-sense ways to waste energy, but also they are good habits to put into practice now, with all this talk of Floor-and-Trade.

6. Stop walking, jogging, or biking to work; drive your car. It's why you bought it, remember? Besides, it's freezing out there.

7. Don't carpool. Selfish people team up to take advantage of HOV lanes while you idle in a traffic jam, emitting greenhouse gases and enjoying your music and breakfast in peace.

Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.